Friday 26 June 2009

There are no words.

Goodbye Michael.


Thursday 25 June 2009

Messed up but totally awesome Yeah Yeah Yeahs video

microKORG alert!!!

the song is awesome too.


Wednesday 24 June 2009

Tim Burton achieves new levels of creepiness... Hurrah!

I have just stumbled upon some pictures on the Guardian website from the forthcoming live action Alice in Wonderland movie as directed by Tim Burton and it looks AMAZING...

...don't you think?


Sunday 21 June 2009

The Most Unlikely Shakespeare Sister Cover You'll Hear All Year.

If you cast your mind back to about 18 years ago you may remember this little early nineties ditty...

Yes, I know... its quite insane isn't it? It's still quite a stirring song though when you remove the video from your head. Ham Sandwich have obviously thought the same thing as they have done a rather lovely cover of it for the recent Sparks N Mind charity album in aid of Irish Depression charity Aware. The best bit is definitely when guitarist/vocalist Podge McNamee sucker punches the listener in the face with the "you better hope and pray" bit... cracking stuff.

Here is a performance of said cover filmed last week in Tower Records for the launch of the album.

The rest of the album contains some nifty covers by the likes of Cowboy X, Le Galaxie and Lisa Hannigan amongst others and only a tenner so well worth buying.


Friday 19 June 2009

Dirty Epics Get Raw!

Like me you may be following The Raw Sessions on RTE 2 at the moment - a sort of alternative X Factor where a select group of up and coming Irish bands are sent into various studios to write and record a song from scratch, with the winning bands going forward into a live grand final to become Sony Ericssion Artist of the Year in the Button Factory on the 26th June. I think this has been an inspired idea and while some of the songs have been a bit hit and miss, there have been a few diamonds in the rough such as the entry from garage punk rockers Dirty Epics. Their track "White Out" is a pulsing,synth driven guitar rock anthem,the sound of which i can only hope will have a significant influence on their next album.

Click here to have a listen to the track in question.


Songs I Really Shouldn't Like #67534

Remember dance group Cascada? The staple of all anti-social twats who play the music on their phones OUT LOUD on the bus...

Well, this is their new single "Evacuate The Dancefloor".

One could initially dismiss this as a complete Lady GaGa rip-off, which it kind of is...

But then again, if it WAS actually by Lady GaGa, wouldn't we all be saying how freaking awesome/catchy it is?

Excuse me while I go get my groove on!


Tuesday 16 June 2009

This Appeals to Me

This greatly appeals to my inner nerd and the psychologist in me (Although I suppose they are both technically nerdy pursuits).

Please Investigate it here


Monday 15 June 2009

Stop Motion of a Stop Motion


Thursday 11 June 2009

New 'Talulah Does The Hula' Choons...

Sunny, 60's inspired indie poppers Talulah Does The Hula have just posted up a couple of new choons on their myspace... The choons in question, 'Bad Boyfriend' and 'Those Girls', will be released as a double A-side on physical and digital formats (i shall be acquiring both... natch') on Friday 26th of June with a launch gig in The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street the night before that. I shall be there myself if anyone wants to join me!

I personally would like to wish Talulah the best of luck with single as they're lovely girls (and guy) and myself and Chris had a great time playing with them last month supporting Cowboy X. Plus its also just really important to keep supporting our homegrown talent, of which we have lots!

See ya at the front! x


Monday 8 June 2009

Little Boots - 'Hands': THE ULTIMATE REVIEW.

So this is it people. The mothership has landed. the Little Boots album has finally leaked into the hands of the common folk after being kept under the best lock and key since the "Who killed JR?" storyline.

But seriously though, if you're anything like me you'll know that to finally hear this album in full is like climaxing after the world's longest foreplay session... (1 year to be exact) but has it all been worth the wait? Worth all that torture of dangling limited edition 7" singles and 'US only' EPs in front of our noses while scouring the Hypemachine for some semblance of an mp3 that WASN'T the five hundredth remix of Meddle or New In Town? In the words of Lil Mama on America's Best Dance Crew, did Ms. Victoria Hesketh 'bring it'?? well, in a lot of ways she has... but is it enough? and so, here is my ultimate, no holds barred, track by track analysis of the entire album from start to finish...


*deep breath* here we go...

Track 1: New In Town (3. 19)

This is the controversial one. Many long time Boots fans were appalled at the decision to release New In Town as the official debut single to launch the Little Boots juggernaut. To be fair i vaguely felt the same way as i always felt a re-release of Meddle or Stuck on Repeat wouldn't go amiss, though i was extremely fond of the leaked demo I'd been listening to since January... this is also the re-jigged version with an additional middle eight , shinier sounding synths and re-recorded, slightly over-treated vocals. However after a few listens this glossy makeover melts into the brain like vanilla ice cream melting over warm apple pie - the production is literally THAT delicious. some may say the production gets a little too busy towards the end and i can definitely hear a bombastic hook in the background of the last 2 choruses that could've done with being brought to the foreground a little but overall this is definitely a confident and sassy opener with a dark edge, if a little un-representative of what she can really do when she puts her mind to it.

Track 2: Earthquake (4. 04)

Earthquake is one of the sampler demos Little Boots posted up onto her Myspace last October which i managed to nab from a blog on hypemachine so this one has been on rotation for a while. .. a huge synth heavy pop song about holding desperately onto a relationship that's going down the toilet and meekly taking all the constant fighting and hurtful words on the chin, hoping if u hold on a little longer it'll somehow get better. thankfully, apart from some polishing, it has been left largely untouched from the original demo and so its emotional resonance and huge, soaring late nineties trance style production has not been compromised in any way... much to my delight.

Track 3: Stuck on Repeat (3. 22)

No. No no no no no no no. NO. this, THIS is my MAJOR contention with the album so far. WHY HAS THE RADIO EDIT BEEN PUT ON THE ALBUM AS THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF THIS SONG? This is all very, very wrong... and i wont accept any guff about needing to make the album as accessible as possible to the general music buying/Tesco soul public and so adding the extended version of the song would put people off blah blah blah... PLENTY of pop albums have longer versions of singles in the past and nobody's complained. the original sprawling, hypnotic, seven minute version would have been a beautifully epic album closer to round the whole thing off. they have missed out on a brilliant opportunity there and the aural and emotional impact of this normally stellar tune, now tucked away very randomly as track 3, has been completely lost amidst the rest of the album. very disappointing...

Track 4: Click (3. 16)

Click is probably my least favourite Little Boots track I've heard so far... the somewhat predictable lady pop lyrics are unfortunately quite clunky and while the main hook is moderately catchy, the whole song still suffers from being quite un-engaging as a whole - and i NEVER say that about a Little Boots track. She has pretty much been infallible up until this point... it is a perfectly fine song, but really nothing special.

Track 5: Remedy (3. 19)

CHEESE ALERT! Wow. This... THIS is clearly the centrepiece of the whole album. It really is a bit of a TUUUNE! a massive, epic and perfectly judged pop song produced by producer of the moment, RedOne (responsible for the recent Enrique/ Ciara cheese-fest 'Takin Back My Love' as well as Lady GaGa's recent output) who's trademark fizzy, abrasive synths weave in and out without over-powering the song as a whole or grating on the ear as they have on previous work. the chorus is HUGE as well, latching onto the brain and refusing to let go for hours after you've finished listening to it... really first class fromage pop. completely faultless.

Track 6: Meddle (3.16)

This track really needs no introduction. It is the track that, along with Stuck on Repeat, infected the blogosphere for months and introduced Little Boots into the big leagues, although it was never officially released other than a limited edition 7" and on the US only Arecibo EP.
Now here it is in all its original, percussion symphony style glory... and it certainly has not lost any of its initial spark and oddball genius. It is a perfect synergy of the pop sensibilities of producer Greg Kursten (Lily Allen, The Bird and the Bee) and the attention to detail displayed by Ms. Hesketh and her obsession with various blips and bleeps and the synthesizers that produce them. Plus the song has weird monk style choral "aaahs" during the middle eight. MONK STYLE CHORAL "AAAHS" PEOPLE!! Intricate, weird and big... pop song of the decade. no contest.

Track 7: Ghosts (3. 03)

This is the dramatic, moody number - The album's idea of a ballad if you will...Vaudeville style. Evocative lyrics over a commanding military style drum beat which takes the listener on a mysterious death march through "black air under the trees" while Boots' "skull is full of dreams" and other such romantic, vaguely emo imagery. You could say this track has something of a Gothic edge to it... goth with Brechtian/Wiell-esque lolloping synths galore running through it obviously. Not perfectly executed but gorgeous stuff all the same.

Track 8: Mathematics (3. 26)

This was released as part of the Little Boots EP back in January and so yet again has been on rotation for a while. It is an icy Goldfrapp-esque, unflappable slab of electro pop where Boots muses on the mathematics of love and how nothing can “divide a heart plus a heart” and other such pun-tastic matters... it builds from a fairly chilled, too cool for school verse into a dizzily arresting chorus where again the synths envelop the listener into euphoric submission... its SO damn good.

Track 9: Symmetry (feat. Philip Oakey) (4. 30)

Being the ear tease that she is, Boots very cruelly sent a tiny 30 second clip of this song to as a taster for the forthcoming album back in February. So intrigued was I with this snippet, and so enamoured I was with the precious few seconds i heard of it, that I proceeded to play the clip as often as possible in lieu of the full track which could not be found ANYWHERE. Now it arrives... and it is just as delicious as i thought it would be. Featuring Philip Oakey of The Human League, it is basically "Don’t You Want Me Baby" : The Prequel – the honeymoon period just before the relationship went tits up... before the bloke told the bird that he put her where she is now, and that he can put her back down too. The moment where they were equals, in perfect symmetry... the synths are somewhat sparse but all the more haunting for it and Oakey’s commanding vocals compliment Boots’ little girl lost tones beautifully... love it love it LOVE IT.

Track 10: Tune Into My Heart (3. 42)

We’re getting into Kylie territory here... sort of a strange juxtaposition between stock, aiken & waterman kylie and fever era kylie minus the sexy bits... a bit of an odd combination really. its a really sweet song with cute, trinkling synths and delicate vocals that really grows on you after a while but it doesn’t have the immediate chutzpah of the previous tracks. Its probably one of the more purely pop moments on the whole album... not a bad thing by any means but just lacks a little something to give it more of a punch. It is innocently romantic though which only adds to its more understated charms...

Track 11: Hearts Collide (3. 45)

This is another very low key track that also once again takes a trip down kylie territory, though more on the side of moody, x era kylie... It is again quite an understated track but becomes quite lush sounding as the chorus hits and boots’ ethereal vocals swirl in amongst the main synths as she swoons about when “hearts collide” as “stars align” and such like... in my opinion it one of the hidden gems on this album and definitely worth repeat listens.

Track 12: No Brakes (4. 03)

And so we come to the final track on the album... and this track is an oddly underwhelming choice for such an honour. Again it is another winsome love song describing the feelings that overwhelm one when falls in love etc... but while it is sweet and charming on the outside, it lacks any real solid hook that locks it into one's memory, therefore making it somewhat of a weak album closer... all it does is appear and then quietly pootle off into the sunset leaving no real impression behind. hmmm... yet again I whine: where is the extended version of Stuck on Repeat???


...despite some hiccups here and there, my 21st century pop idol Ms. Victoria Hesketh has really outdone herself for the most part and produced the kind of pop album that I've always wanted... it really is a girl's album as she side steps the pitfalls of most aspiring pop tarts by avoiding the cheapening effects of purring about sex and drunken partying, instead choosing to speak to our more innocent, naive emotions through her starry-eyed and quixotic lyricism. This wordplay, coupled with her incomparable knack for spellbinding melody and hook, come together to make the kind of pop music that the modern day charts have been missing for some time now...

Many snobs may bitch and complain about the pure commerciality of the tracks on the album, strongly at odds with the mysterious, anonymous ice queen who first turned our lives upside down with that first listen of the distinctly un-commercial Stuck on Repeat... but anyone who has observed Hesketh's relationship with music like I have will see that she makes no claims to be anything other than a girl who just loves good pop music and that she merely wishes to emulate her own idols in terms of the kind of music she makes herself. She doesn't wish to cut off her nose to spite her face and hold her music hostage from the general public because they're not "cool" enough - she wants to be a proper popstar and makes no bones about that fact... it shines through all of her music. In fact, it is her innate un-pretentiousness that only makes me love her all the more...

She basically just a big legend really. :D


Thursday 4 June 2009

Video: Fight Like Apes - Something Global

Directed by Eoghan Kidney, the video aimed to splice together over a hundred different cameras worth of fan footage and professional video camera shots to create a music video. The video was shot in Whelans and You can see the result below. The video also has an appearance by me as one of the mask wearing suit people in the background.

Fight Like Apes - Something Global from ξοgΙιαη κιdηεγ on Vimeo.